Dean was certainly present on Whatsapp this morning, but not at Union Corner at ten to nine, so despite our concern we left to see who might be at the other place. To nobody’s surprise it was much the usual crowd, chatting away as normal about lots of interesting subjects other than a possible destination. This left things wide open for Ian to declare that we were going to Gweek come what may, do or die, and off he shot. This meant we had to move off as well in lukewarm pursuit. At Brill, despite Gweek being straight on, we turned right and headed for Seworgan. At the main road, a swift left then right led us onto suspiciously familiar roads.
It took a while for it to register that we were traversing the usual route home from Helston, but in reverse. Through Wendron and then onto Muddy Lane (now becoming nice and muddy once again); an eerily strange experience, as we seemed to be going downhill. Meanwhile, Ian had been having long and complicated Whatsapp exchanges with Dean in an attempt to get him to head us off at the pass, culminating in an actual phone call to clarify what to do. Dean was apparently haring down the main road (from Four Lanes? – surely not) so Ian valiantly offered to wait for him while us sluggards continued round the Helston by-pass to Culdrose. At this point we followed a loop to Gunwalloe and back to Culdrose, apparently for the purpose of simply adding miles and a further leg-breaking climb to our ride. Thanks, Ian. Dean (paced by Ian) caught us up at the top of the climb into Gunwalloe, and despite braking as hard as possible took a fair distance to stop, so fast was he travelling (I should point out that we were stationary at the time). He still appeared fresh despite his obvious efforts, and amazingly still had croissant crumbs in his fashionable French stubble.
After looping down to Cury, on we travelled to once again follow a familiar route through Trelowarren, but again in reverse. This also involved going downhill, so I’m beginning to wonder whether we have been doing it wrong all this time hithertofore. Going backwards (not literally, of course, but only by reference to our usual direction of travel) did have the added benefit of revealing vistas previously unseen except to those with swivel heads.
From Mawgan we tested our brakes on the descent of Ponstantual Hill to meet Gweek Drive. Luckily, all of our brakes passed, and we safely arrived at Gweek, where we imbibed refreshments at the Boatyard Cafe. This is an excellent establishment. The weather was good enough for us to sit in the garden (?) with alluring views of the fast appearing mud in the creek (due, I am reliably informed, to the tide retreating, which it does with amazing regularity) and boats in cradles in various states of repair. There was lively conversation around club meetings, the use of the Book of Face, the price of beer at the Wood Lane Social Club, giving kudos on Strava and whether agent provocateur was Latin or not. Reluctantly, we pulled ourselves away from this idyllic scene and headed home. A few elected to turn up four mile hill for reasons best known to themselves, whilst the rest of us (the sensible majority) took the direct route home.
A nice, if slightly discombobulating, ride with a surprising amount of vertical ascent considering the modest distance covered – 60km (37½ miles) for me.